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Autonomous

A rendering of a Valet Park4U user

Valeo recently introduced its Valet Park4U system, becoming one of the latest manufacturers to reveal its vision for self-parking cars. More of a self-contained vehicle technology than other autonomous parking systems, the Valet Park4U system eliminates the need for advanced car-to-lot communications, relying entirely on onboard systems.  Read More

While traveling in a 'swarm,' as the developers are calling it, the robots will wirelessly...

Over the past few years, jellyfish populations along South Korea's coastline have risen to the point where they are adversely affecting the fish populations and marine industries in the area, costing the country over 3 billion won (about US$2.8 million) each year. A team led by Associate Professor Hyun Myung of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology however may have a solution with the JEROS (Jellyfish Elimination RObotic Swarm), a series of autonomous robots that work together to track down jellyfish in the ocean and grind them into a fine pulp.  Read More

Navigating outdoors on the MIT campus (Photo: MIT SENSEable City Lab)

The latest personal tour guide to zoom around the MIT campus flies a few feet off the ground, uses GPS and responds to phone calls. Aptly named Skycall, the drone that functions as a hovering tour guide is the brainchild of MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, which created the system to help students find their way on campus. It lets users summon it through a call, flies to where they are and leads them to their destination at an unhurried pace, while they trail along behind it.  Read More

Major the dog, suited up with the control system

Trained dogs can do a lot of things – they can locate victims at disaster sites, sniff out drugs or explosives, and subdue criminals. One thing that they can’t do in all situations, however, is hear commands made by their handlers. That’s why scientists at Alabama’s Auburn University have created a control system to guide them.  Read More

Titan Aerospace's Solara in flight

Conventional satellites may be decent at their jobs, but they do have some drawbacks – the spacecraft themselves are quite expensive, getting them into orbit is also a costly process, and they can’t be reclaimed once they’re in use. Titan Aerospace, however, is offering an alternative that should have none of those problems. The company’s Solara unmanned high-altitude aircraft is intended to serve as an “atmospheric satellite,” autonomously flying in the sky’s upper reaches for as long as five years continuously.  Read More

Traveled and projected route of Curiosity to Mount Sharp (Image: NASA)

NASA took the metaphorical training wheels off the Mars rover Curiosity on Tuesday, as the unmanned explorer took its first drive using autonomous navigation. It used its onboard cameras and software to select and drive over an area of ground that mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California couldn't see and vet beforehand. This capability allows the nuclear-powered rover to negotiate the most direct route to Mount Sharp rather than having to detour to find routes that can be seen directly by Curiosity before entering, so they can be analyzed by mission control.  Read More

With the help of the tiny autopilot, UAVs could be small enough to fit in your pocket

As the word "drone" has become so commonplace that you can literally build a UAV out of anything, researchers are aiming to make the technology smaller and more usable in everyday practice. Bart Remes, project manager at the Micro Aerial Vehicle Laboratory at the TU Delft faculty of Aerospace Engineering, has led a group of researchers to the creation of the world's smallest autopilot.  Read More

The tailbot, a running, jumping mobile sensor that can maneuver in mid-air with its tail (...

Imagine mobile sensor networks that run around, jump and maneuver in the air to get the job done. That's what Jianguo Zhao is working towards; his design for such networks involves biologically-inspired sensors in the form of robots with little tails. These "tailbots" are expected to have applications in areas ranging from search and rescue to surveillance and environmental monitoring.  Read More

Latitude Engineering’s Hybrid Quadrotor UAV

If you need a drone aircraft that can hover in one spot or perform vertical take-offs and landings (VTOL), then a multi-rotor contraption such as a quadcopter is the way to go. Should you be looking for something that can cover long distances as quickly and efficiently as possible, however, then a more traditional propellor-driven fixed-wing airplane will serve you better. So, what if you want both? Well, that’s where Latitude Engineering’s Hybrid Quadrotor UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) comes in. Putting it simply, it’s a quadcopter/fixed-wing combo.  Read More

Vienna University of Technology’s 'smartphone quadcopter'

With one possible exception, autonomous quadcopters are not something that you would expect to be inexpensive. A relatively cheap model may indeed be on its way, however. Designed by the Vienna University of Technology’s Virtual Reality Team, the tiny aircraft utilizes the processor and camera of an off-the-shelf smartphone.  Read More

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